Keane Post receives $125K for renovations

Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto stopped by Lawrence Keane American Legion Post 1498 on Saturday, May 2 to present checks for repairs at the post’s hall. (L-r) Klein, Keane Post 1498 commander Lou Durante, Benedetto, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca at the check presentation. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

The Lawrence Keane American Legion Post at 2879 Buhre Avenue will receive some much-needed repairs to its roof, air conditioning and electrical systems, and basement thanks to the help of two elected officials.

Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto joined veterans and their families at a party on Saturday, May 2 to celebrate the disbursement of member-item funding.

Both legislators gave a total of $125,000 to the organization that has been honoring and remembering the sacrifices of veterans in the Pelham Bay area for years.

“In last year’s state budget, we were able to set aside money for worthy causes,” Benedetto said.

Klein added: “The team of Benedetto and Klein is working well together in Albany.”

The post commander and vice commander were very grateful for the assistance of the lawmakers, and plan to put the money to good use.

“Not only are we at the post grateful, but the community that we serve is also very grateful,” said Lou Durante, Keane Post 1498 commander. “I have been here [in Pelham Bay] since 1945, and this year marks my 60th year with American Legion Post 1498. This is a great lift for the neighborhood, the community, and veterans everywhere.”

Durante said that it is imperative that the building receive a complete electrical upgrade. He said that in many cases when community groups use the hall, there are issues with there not being adequate air-conditioning or electrical voltage.

“This money is going to repair the roof, and following that we are going to work on upgrading the heating and air conditioning systems,” said Keane Post 1498 vice-commander Lou Pagnotta, a Korean War veteran. “We are going to work on the electrical system. We also need better insulation in our basement. Right now, we have water leaking into our basement.”

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